February is Black History Month. This year’s commemoration is special because we are still celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
I’ve visited the museum twice; my next visit is later this month. The museum can be overwhelming so I methodically focus on one floor at a time, beginning with the History Galleries.
It is as emotionally wrenching as you would imagine. It is also motivating and inspiring. I thanked the ancestors for surviving the brutality of slavery and maintaining their humanity, their “soul value.” I am empowered by their enduring legacy of struggle and resistance.
Last week, I checked out the Culture Galleries.
It was sheer joy to experience black culture in all its glory – music, fashion, dance, culinary and visual arts, as well as the performing arts.
I ended each visit at Contemplative Court where I sat and, well, contemplated how we got over.
As an advocate for social justice, I celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every day. On the official observance of his special day, I will join thousands for a ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell in his honor.
Afterwards, I’ll join the March for a Better America.
The march will begin at the slave quarters on Independence Mall and conclude at Mother Bethel AME Church, where POWER: An Interfaith Movement will unveil their 21st Century Declaration of Rights. They will call on elected officials, community leaders and ordinary citizens to support human rights. It sounds like a party for a drum major for justice.
Happy birthday, Dr. King.
I am a founding member of the Election Verification Network. The membership includes University of Michigan computer science professor J. Alex Halderman, the computer science expert who sparked Jill Stein’s petition for a recount in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Since its founding, EVN has pushed for voter-verified paper ballots and a forensic audit of every election. So it’s not surprising that Alex and other members have latched on to calls for recounts in three states.
But Jill Stein’s vanity recount is not advancing election integrity. Instead, it’s setting back electoral reform.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorialized, it smacks of a “vanity project”:
Maybe ‘democracy’ will be served by Jill Stein’s quixotic moralizing. More likely, Jill Stein and the Green Party will be served.
Jill Stein may actually believe that demanding a recount of presidential tallies in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania will ensure that “democracy” is served.
More likely, she believes the Green Party will be served by her audacious PR stunt.
Either way, the Stein recounts are a colossal waste of money and energy when there is not a shred of credible evidence of fraud or error and when the final vote in these three states likely will not change very much.
Stein’s quixotic moralizing damages the credibility of the very institution she claims to protect — the sanctity of the ballot box.
Those who donated to Recount 2016 did so voluntarily. Stein paid the state of Michigan $787,500. But taxpayers could end up paying $5 million in additional costs. So Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a lawsuit to halt the “dilatory and frivolous” recount:
Michigan voters rejected Stein’s candidacy by massive margins but her refusal to accept that state-verified result poses an expensive and risky threat to hard-working taxpayers and abuses the intent of Michigan law. We have asked the court to end the recount which Stein is pursuing in violation of Michigan laws that protect the integrity of our elections. It is inexcusable for Stein to put Michigan voters at risk of paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process.
Meanwhile, the Green Party has withdrawn its lawsuit for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. Although Stein has raised over $7 million, they claim the petitioners “cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the Court.”
In a tweet, Stein asks, “How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results?”
What’s really odd is that the candidate who received less than 1% of the vote is pushing for a recount in Pennsylvania rather than the candidate of the 1%, Hillary Clinton.
Facing long odds in Pennsylvania, the nutcase is taking her case to federal court. If the case winds its way through the federal court system and makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump’s pick will be there waiting for Dr. Jill Stein.
The end is nigh: The end of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s nightmarish presidential campaign.
Your vote is your voice so express yourself.
But here’s the thing. There have been a lot of election changes so be careful how you vote.
If stuff happens, call 866-OUR-VOTE.
All soles to the polls on November 8.
With the ringing of the First Baptist Church Freedom Bell, President Barack Obama opened the doors to a view of African American history and culture through an African American lens.
I was in DC for the grand opening ceremonies.
I did not visit the Museum because I did not want my first visit to be rushed (I have tickets for October and November). So I spent the weekend reveling in the Freedom Sounds Festival. It was comforting to see the ancestors presiding over the community celebration.
By the way, Ray Charles’ “Lonely Avenue” was remixed into a freedom song, “Fighting for My Rights.”
On my visit to the Museum on October 3rd, my first stop will be the Slavery gallery. If time permits, I’ll check out the Music collection. My plan is to check out one or two galleries on each visit.
Are you ready to visit? Admission is free, but you need a timed pass. You’ll have to plan ahead because Museum tickets are sold out for the rest of the year. Passes for Museum admission between January and March 2017 will be available online starting Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.
For more info, check out Top 10 Things To Know About Visiting the Museum.
The Democrats are coming! The Democrats are coming! The 2016 Democratic National Convention will be gaveled to order on July 25th.
The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection will host the DNC, but protesters may not be shown any love. So a coalition of clergy and activists is taking a page from the old-school Freedom Schools and boning up on their rights.
During a press conference, Rev. Robin Hynicka of the Arch Street United Methodist Church said:
We know those coming to the city and those already here, planning to exercise their First Amendment right are going to need some support. They’re going to need love, they’re going to need some place to go. We’re sending that message today.
The DNC Freedom School will be in session from 9am-9pm on Saturday, July 23 at the Arch Street United Methodist Church. Rev. Hynicka noted:
Voter registration, civic engagement, political and social activism were key components of the Summer of Freedom. Revisiting the courage, commitment, conviction and cause at the Summer of Freedom and the Freedom schools, has the potential to shape the current context that we are facing.
The Democrats are coming! Get ready.